What a year I have been having since December 01, 2022 when I last posted a blog. Staff have been coming and going and I have been a jack of all trades. It’s a good job my father brought me up not to expect anyone to do what I wouldn’t do myself.
Well, it’s good to report that on the farm we have finished harvest - a very mixed affair with such a wet July and August. The present heatwave almost makes us forget that.
Oil seed rape has been drilled. I have adopted a Mintill process to try and conserve soil moisture and to reduce the cost of establishment.
The wet weather has meant we have had good grass growth and a large crop of silage has been made to fee the cattle and sheep through the winter months.
Nerves are jangling again because our next TB test is only a fortnight away. At the same time, the vet will take a few random blood samples to check the overall herd health status.
Yet again agriculture is having to face change. What has been known as the basic payment scheme, which is a form of financial support for farmers, is being phased out. This is being replaced by the sustainable farming incentive, a system that appears to have many minefields and booby traps with a very limited financial benefit.
I feel that as a consequence it will make the country more dependent on imports. We are a proud nation and we would like to feed the population with as much home produced food as possible.
In the shop, we are pleased to welcome Tia, a very enthusiastic apprentice butcher.
We’ve said farewell to Jules and Helen, who are both missed, and we have welcomed Izzy, Emily and Val.
Tony our honey supplier has included some information you might be interested in and that I’m happy to pass on.
Why spring and summer honey?
Well, cheers for now
David Clarke has been farming at Churncote for many years. He and wife Sue started selling the produce from the farm in 2003, which gives him long-standing insight into the reality of the farm to fork process. David will be sharing his experience regularly here.